Commissioner Mark Collins and Governor John Rankin helped launch a community policing initiative in front of the force’s Road Town headquarters Tuesday morning.
An earlier community policing effort deteriorated after Hurricane Irma, but with Tuesday’s brief ceremony, the force is starting a new campaign to integrate officers into the communities they are charged with protecting, said officer Jacqueline Vanterpool, superintendent of the Territorial Division.
The officers involved are assigned specific areas within their districts that they are supposed to frequently visit, so as to make themselves a familiar presence and understand the needs of the people living there, said Ms. Vanterpool.
“That is the key thing, they must know the community, visit the business places, and speak with people; … get to know what their challenges are,” said Ms. Vanterpool, adding, “That officer is the key role for that [community].”
The community police officers will then report back to their sergeant, outlining what challenges the people in their community are facing, Ms. Vanterpool said.
She added that the community police officers are also responsible for planning events in the areas they patrol.
The new community effort, Mr. Collins said, “is the foundation for perfecting citizen-focused services.”
He added, “The people you see before you are the face of the [police force].”
By press time, the Beacon could not obtain a list of all the community officers or the areas to which they are assigned.